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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-28-2008, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
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training rats not to bite

my boys are great, but they bite a bit... not hard like they want to hurt me, just like they think my fingers are food, and want to taste. I've been pulling away and saying "ouch" and hoping they'll get the message. is there anything else I can do?



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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-28-2008, 03:38 PM
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hmmmm... i'm not sure, are you feeding them thrugh the bars? If you are than stop, this could help



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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-28-2008, 03:40 PM Thread Starter
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nope, not feeding through the bars. they mostly do it when I'm holding them, they grab onto my finger like they would a treat, and then bite it. it would be cute if it weren't a bad habit...

4 cats: Radar, Oscar, Mackintosh, Qwilleran
1 dog: Daphne
3 rabbits: Barbarella Bunny. DC's Lucy, Ricky
1 daddy-long leg spider: Spidey
8 assorted tarantulas
1 madagascar hissing cockroach: Lady
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1 ball python: Eve
1 corn snake: Charisma
1 California kingsnake: Honey
1 tortoise: Charlie
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-28-2008, 03:44 PM
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My first rats also went through a nippy phase. What I did was constantly shove things in their face that were not tasty, like pens, cardboard, plastic whatever I happened to be holding. It's not that I let them chew on it, I just let them see what it was. They realized that not everything I extended to them was food and they learned to sniff before they grabbed.

I also tried a trick that people advise for dogs who snap at treats. I held very small bits tightly between my thumb and finger so that they had to gently grab it with the very tips of their teeth. You have to endure a bit if nipping for this to start working, but they did learn that being gentle got them the treat.



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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-28-2008, 04:17 PM
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With mine I always try to socialize them the way their mommy or siblings would. If they play too rough (i.e. chewing or scratching your hand) I yell "Eek" and pull them away from the hand they're chewing with my other hand. In the litter, a mom or sibling would make a squeaking sound and restrain or push the one playing rough to get their point across.



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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-28-2008, 06:21 PM
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Well my friend went through this and what she done was made a loud squeak noise and if they got really ruff she put them on their backs for like 5 seconds to let them know who was boss though her rats bit really hard !! im no expert but this is what she done and it helped !
Also make sure your hands don't smell of treats because when i feed my boys treats they forget and go to put their teeth round my hands and then when they realise its not food LOL they LICK it LOL !!!



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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-29-2008, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
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i was giving them treats earlier, and Mycroft totally missed the treat, and grabbed onto my finger, instead. And then he wouldn't let go, he thought I was taking his treat away! I had to pry his mouth open to free my finger! He just doesn't get that I'm not food... For awhile I thought it was my red nail polish, but I took that off a few days ago, and it hasn't gotten any better... I'm trying the squeaking thing...

4 cats: Radar, Oscar, Mackintosh, Qwilleran
1 dog: Daphne
3 rabbits: Barbarella Bunny. DC's Lucy, Ricky
1 daddy-long leg spider: Spidey
8 assorted tarantulas
1 madagascar hissing cockroach: Lady
3 chickens
1 ball python: Eve
1 corn snake: Charisma
1 California kingsnake: Honey
1 tortoise: Charlie
2 Mali Uromastyx: Nick and Nora
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-29-2008, 05:25 PM
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yeah, and not a little squeak, I do a full blown "AAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!!" and jump like I'm startled. It scares the poop out of them! (plus if they break skin it hurts a lot). Then they think "Oh, that must have really hurt!" But this is only if they break skin. If they don't break skin then they're just playing with you. If they do it while your hand is in or near the cage, they're doing it because they want YOU to go in THERE lol. They don't understand that you're too big. They just want you to be in their house to snuggle instead of in your house to snuggle. My Timmy's done that. Sometimes he just insists, so I'll be up to my armpit in cage LOL. But then he eventually reaches my shoulder. Then WHOOP up we go and it's on the couch time. Funny little buggers aren't they?



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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-29-2008, 11:46 PM
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Yeah, I squeak whenever mine do that. They stop and look up in surprise. Mine just mouth everything. They don't bite to hurt, they just bite to see what things are. I don't mind though, as long as they don't draw blood. The only time any of my rats drew blood was when I was standing near the cage and Cosmo reached through and took a chunk out of my elbow. He's evil sometimes like that.



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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-30-2008, 09:59 AM
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Mulder, I love the idea of the ratties wanting you in their home! My Eve gives me a gentle nip when she wants to go home, usually when she's been out for a while. She might be hungry, thirsty or just tired but I don't mind because how else is she going to tell me?
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-30-2008, 04:52 PM
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You have to remember that rats can't see very well. They have to rely on their other senses to get around.

Also red or pink eyed rats have worse vision then black eyed rats. Some rats even sway their head to try to get things into focus.

just eep next time they bit your finger.



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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-30-2008, 11:58 PM
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My mice were doing this the other day (started out of the blue, nothing painful or hard but it troubled me because I thought something was wrong) and I kept washing my hands with different soap.. no change.. washed them with hand sanitizer.. no change. When they would do it I would gently give them a push with my finger they were biting and tell them no. I thought maybe I smelled tasty that night or something. Then it hit me. Their little chew toy thing was buried under the bedding, so I fished it out and set it back out where they could see it again. Sure enough, as soon as I fixed it back for them they both ran over to it and chewed on it for a while and later weren't nibbling on me anymore and haven't since (this was days ago).

Might not be the same with your pets, but make sure they have plenty of things to chew on for their teeth. Could be what they are wanting. It's what my mice wanted apparently; it just took me an hour or so to realize it, lol.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-19-2013, 06:31 AM
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I had two boys who nipped and my solution was honey on a metal spoon, they bit and hit metal and where like "ow" and so they would lick. They i moved to my fingers and eventually my lips (just to teach them a cute trick) and they never bit me again! they learned to sniff and maybe mouth a bit, but never anything that got near a hard bite, instead i got lots and lots of kisses^^
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-19-2013, 02:51 PM
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How cool volo!! What an interesting solution to the problem. I'll bet this would work with other pets as well. I will remember this one !!


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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-19-2013, 03:22 PM
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I sometimes get the best advice from these old threads too AnimalFamily.


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